While Valentine's Day is meant to be a celebratory holiday, many Canadians may be scaling back on showing their affection this year due to the state of the economy. In fact, according to a recent survey by coupon website RetailMeNot.ca, 66 per cent of Canadians plan to spend less money on Valentine's Day celebrations this year than they did in 2015. Luckily for those in love, there are out of the (chocolate) box ways to save on Valentine's Day gifts and activities.
Canadians will spend, on average, $164 on Valentine's Day this year, with men significantly outspending women ($219 vs. $109). People who are new to a relationship plan to spend more money to woo their partners on than those who are married ($148 vs. $134), so it's important to set budget expectations with your partner early on. Be clear on whether or not you plan to exchange gifts and put a cap on the amount each person can spend to reduce the impulse to go overboard to impress.
Avoid February 14
With Valentine's Day falling on a weekend this year, one of the most popular ways to celebrate will be dinner at a nice restaurant. If you plan to dine out, avoid making reservations on February 14. Most restaurants will be offering prix fixe menus that feature a limited selection of items, at a premium price due to the popularity of the day. If you and your loved one have been dying to try a new restaurant or get away for a romantic evening out, make plans before or after the holiday to get the full experience and likely at a cheaper cost.
Be a Cheap Date
According to the survey the vast majority of Canadians see no harm in using a coupon on a date (70 per cent) or for a gift (75 per cent), so the fear of paying full price should not prevent you from buying a gift for your loved one. Cut coupons, not corners! A quick search on a coupon website like RetailMeNot.ca, returns promo codes and savings on everything from flowers to romantic getaways.
Thirty-three per cent of coupled Canadians expect to receive a gift from their significant other this Valentine's Day. On average, people will spend the following on the classic Valentine's Day gifts:
• Jewelry: $190
• Tickets to an event or show: $76
• Lingerie: $61
• Flowers: $40
• Candy or chocolate: $18
Love Don't Cost a Thing
If all else fails, take comfort in knowing that more than half (53 per cent) of Canadians would prefer to receive sex to a gift on Valentine's Day. As Jennifer Lopez said, "love don't cost a thing", but if you want to up the ante on a night in, consider purchasing wine and cheese for a romantic picnic on the floor or bath salts and massage oils to bring the luxury of a spa to your own home. Those little touches will show your partner you put thought and effort into the evening.
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